Whereas our faith will cooperate with God to avoid certain occurrences that do not match His plans for our lives, there are some unpleasant events that are beyond the jurisdiction of faith, simply because they are occurrences that don’t depend on us to happen. We can understand this easily with natural disasters like Hurricane, earthquakes and all, but when it comes to the region of our personal affairs, where our actions and reactions are always directly proportional to our experiences, it could get a little bit confusing.
The point here is this: we must continue to believe what God says about us. We must keep sowing the seeds of good actions in order to reap an harvest of wonderful consequences. However, a number of occurrences do happen because they have been predetermined. They fulfill a clear principle in Scriptures that underscore the inevitability of opposites in our experience. We find this in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Verse 1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”.
“The human experience is not complete without the experience of opposites.”
Time and season. They clearly demarcate our experiences, regardless of our faith, producing events and occurrences according to the timetable of God for our lives. While no one will pray to experience pain, we have all experienced it regardless. If there is a season for everything, it means there is a season to lose, to mourn, to refrain from embrace, to die etc. And a proper time is alloted by God to all these things, according to the purpose they are meant to serve in our lives.
Hence, we must be thoroughly immersed into the Person of our God for that is how we will feel secured no matter what is happening around us. We must also be baptised into the Principles and Purpose of God. The Principles teach us that no matter how painful an experience may be, God does not have a substitute for it, that is, He doesn’t have another way to achieve His Purpose than to make us go through an experience on schedule.
And then we must understand that God can never change His purpose. It is called the “immutability of His counsel” in Hebrews 6:17. So, because God’s Purpose cannot be changed, His ways (Principles) of achieving it cannot also be compromised, simply because of His unchangeableness (Person).
When Joshua was too old to continue his assignment, God didn’t say “well, you have not yet finished, let me give you more time!”. (Joshua 13:1, 24:29). The point is, God has allocated His purpose and all accompanying occurrences to a given time. Even though, the work was yet unfinished, Joshua’s time was up. The remaining work spills over to the next generation. This is time and chance that happens to them all according to the Preacher in Ecclesiastes (9:11).
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Psalm 103:7 “He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.”
Ephesians 1:11 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”
Joseph was meant to be the Prime Minister in Egypt but the only route that will take him there was that of pain. The pain in the pit, in potiphar’s house and in the prison. Look at all the pain he had to go through. If he had had his way, he would have avoided pain and by avoiding pain, he would be compromising his destiny to be the Prime Minister altogether. We have to understand that God knows that we will always be on the side of our comfort, that is why He will hardly reveal a coming painful period or event in our lives. He knows we will do all we can to avoid it and if we do, we will NEVER arrive in destiny.
In Joseph’s case, you could say, “well, but he caused it!”. Well, yes. While he could have done better with managing his personal dreams and all, and by that escape the pit and prison, yet we must know that the actual consequence of an action is not only determined by that action, it is principally determined by God. That is why, even when we make certain mistakes, Grace can overrule the consequences of such errors, if the experience that comes with that consequence is not on God’s timetable. Or at least, it is not yet time for it.
Hence, we must accept that God has determined when and how we will lose a loved one, like a parent. I lost my father 6 years ago. Looking back now, it looked as if his death could have been avoided but that is not the point. The point is, there is a purpose in God’s mind that accompanies that time of loss, and it is that purpose I must focus on (Eccl. 3:1). I hope you won’t misunderstand me.
As you must have seen, we are separating what happens solely by your action or reaction from what happens regardless of your actions and reactions. The fact that some things will happen regardless of our actions do not have to make us irresponsible. It will only reveal to our hearts that there is a more superior principle at work than the one we are operating that we need to submit to. And it is this:
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Do you believe that? The “all things” are the opposites of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. My duty is not to arraign God at the tribunal of my mind and demand that He defend what He has done or not done. My duty is (1) to know that God always know something that I don’t know. (2) to ensure that I love Him regardless of my outward challenges. (3) to ensure that I follow Him into His predestined purpose for my life.
With these three things, you will not allow your pain to be a sinking hole, where you despair and get swallowed up by the anguish of a loss or failure, you will rather allow that pain to be a launching pad or springboard for you to enter into the next level of growth and progress for your life.
NOTE: Please note that we are not saying we should not feel the loss. We don’t have the capacity for that. We are only saying that with an elevated understanding, we will not only “feel” the pain, we will also “turn” the pain to fuel, to move our lives to the next level. Even though I didn’t shed a single tear when my father died, because of the understanding I had (and maybe because men don’t always cry!), I actually cried like 5 years later. That was when my own tears came.
It is time to look away from the loss or failure… to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. The pain has the capacity to produce your promotion only if you believe what God says about it and practice it.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.
Picture credit: timeinc